William D’Angelo
, posted 4 hours ago / 562 Views

Activision quality assurance (QA) employees in Austin, Texas, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and El Segundo, California have voted to unionize with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), announced the CWA. Microsoft has voluntarily recognized the union.

The final vote ended up with 390 “yes” votes to unionize and eights “no” votes. The union will cover around 600 Activision QA employees.

“Something we organized around is that in this industry, QA and customer service are the lowest paid jobs, and often looked down upon either within the industry or by customers,” Activision QA tester and organizing committee member Kara Fannon told Polygon.

“It’s easy for people to say to QA, ‘Oh, I found a bug,’ even though we logged tens of thousands of bugs. So why is QA [unionizing], as opposed to other people in the industry? We have the weakest protections currently and we want to make sure that we’re strong so our work can keep going the way it is — we want to be supporting these games and working really hard on them.”

Activision Quality Assurance United – CWA members joins other unions at Microsoft Gaming, including Blizzard Albany, Raven Software, and ZeniMax.

ZeniMax Workers United was the biggest gaming union in the US with over 300 members, which has now been surpassed by the around 600 at the new Activision union. There are over 1,000 video game employees at Microsoft now represented by the CWA.

“Microsoft continues to keep its commitment to let workers decide for themselves whether they want a union,” said Communications Workers of America President Claude Cummings Jr. “Time and again, other big companies in the industry have made the decision to undermine and attack their own employees when they join together to form a union. Microsoft’s choice will strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry.”

QA Tester and member of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA Kara Fannon added, “My coworkers and I are excited to announce our union today as members of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA. We wanted to see improvements in the workplace, including higher wages and getting more career opportunities, and so were eager to unionize. Quality Assurance roles are described as a way to get your foot in the door in the video game industry, but the truth is, at best, we get the internal job posting before the public does. We’re ready to grow our careers here and believe that having a strong union contract will set workers and the company up for success.”

Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of HR Legal at Microsoft Amy Pannoni stated, “We maintained our commitment to remain neutral during the organizing campaign, and following this vote, we recognize the Communications Workers of America (CWA) as the bargaining representative for the Activision Publishing Central Quality Assurance employees. We look forward to continuing our positive labor management relationship.”

Microsoft in 2022 signed a labor neutrality agreement with the CWA that states Microsoft must remain neutral in all interactions with unions.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D’Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

More Articles

Source link